According to a post in the Google Business Help forums on May 16th, by Jade Wang from Google stated that business owners can now request to have reviews moved from one listing to another. This is another great step in the right direction by Google to make Google Maps more business friendly.
Jade Wang said that there are “criteria” that must be met in order to have the reviews moved.
Change of Ownership
If you are a new owner or manager and the business name HAS NOT changed, your reviews will not be removed. Jade Wang recommended using owner responses to let everyone know about changes in management.
Change in Name
If you are a new owner or manager and the business name HAS changed, you must meet the following criteria in order to qualify. Reviews may be removed based on many factors including rebranding, name changes related to changes in underlying services, or partners or other business affiliations that disassociate.
Out of Business
If the business closes, all reviews will remain with the listing.
Physical Location (Address) Move
If your business moves to a new location and keeps the same business name, Google will generally move the reviews to the listing at the new location. However, Jade said that there are some exceptions to that rule.
Jade said, “The new process is currently only allowed for users of the New Google Places of Business dashboard,” but they plan to make this more widely available in the near future. If you are using the new dashboard, you can use this form to submit your request to have business reviews moved.
In no way does this new procedure affect the policy around removing inappropriate individual reviews; which includes flagging the review as inappropriate via the individual Google Local page and then following up by filing a troubleshooting report after the lack of hearing a response.
Also, don’t forget that Google now has phone support if you are having trouble with your business’s local listing. You simply fill out this form, and they will give you a call right away.
I have personally experienced the helpful specialist’s with the phone support, but have yet to attempt to move reviews from one listing to another. If anyone has experienced this, please let me know how it was. I am very curious if it is a step forward compared to attempting to remove inappropriate reviews.